Penn State has had rivalries within the Big Ten against Ohio State and Michigan State, but its biggest rival has been off the schedule for quite some time to the dismay of the diehards of Nittany Nation.
But that one true rival is coming back on the schedule. The Nittany Lions and Pittsburgh will resume their long-time duel in 2016 with a home-and-home series.
The two teams will play on Sept. 10, 2016 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, and on Sept. 16, 2017 at Beaver Stadium.
The Panthers are Penn State’s most-played rival. The two teams have played 96 times with the Nittany Lions holding a 50-42-4 series advantage. They last played in 2000 when the Panthers picked up a 12-0 win at Three Rivers Stadium.
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Penn State and Pitt played every year from 1935 through 1992, often in the final game of the regular season. After the Lions began Big Ten play in 1993, the two teams did not play for four seasons, then played a four-game series between 1997 and 2000.
Penn State athletic director Tim Curley said the Lions “have worked out our scheduled to play some of our neighboring rivalries like Syracuse, Rutgers and Temple and are glad to have identified dates that worked for our schedules to play Pitt.
“The Penn State-Pitt game was one that football fans across the Commonwealth have been passionate about. There have been many memorable Penn State-Pitt games, featuring outstanding players and coaches, and we look forward to playing the Panthers again.”
The Nittany Lions played Syracuse in 2008 and 2009 and the two teams will meet again in the 2013 season opener at the new Meadowlands Stadium. They will meet Rutgers in 2014 and 2015.
Temple has been a regular opponent – the Owls and Lions play Sept. 17 at Lincoln Financial Field, and in 2012 and 2014 in Happy Valley.